Baked Parmesan Crusted Asparagus
Do you love when a recipe can be used multiple ways? I certainly do, and that’s one big reason why I love this Baked Parmesan Crusted Asparagus recipe. It works both as a quick and easy vegetable side dish the whole family will love, and as an appetizer that will be a hit at your next party. For anyone who may not love asparagus, this recipe adds some well-loved flavors to the vegetable that make it flavorful and fun. You’ll be converted to an asparagus fan in no time after making this a few times!
For the crust part of the recipe, I use a combo of grated Parmesan cheese and almond meal, but if you don’t have almond meal, you can certainly use bread crumbs, or even panko for even more crispiness. The smoked paprika adds a unique flavor that blends really well with the Parmesan cheese, however, regular paprika or even dry mustard will work well if you can’t find smoked paprika.
Another helpful thing about this recipe is that it can be made ahead. Bonus, right? If you’re hosting a party and want this asparagus on your appetizer table, simply get the asparagus coated in the goods and put on the baking sheet. Then, cover it loosely and refrigerate until just before your party. Pop the asparagus in the oven, and in no time at all it will be ready to serve. I’ve given those directions in the recipe.
By the way, have you ever wondered why asparagus spears need to be trimmed before using? I mean, you end up throwing out about one-third of each spear, which does seem wasteful, right? Well, that bottom portion that gets trimmed off tends to be woody and not very tender, even after cooking, which is not as appetizing as the tender top portion. You can certainly save the bottom portions and use them to make a creamy pureed asparagus soup. They will work well in a recipe like that because they will be cooked longer and then pureed.
This Baked Parmesan Crusted Asparagus is a hit at my house, and I hope it will be at yours too!
- 1 bunch asparagus (12 ounces)*
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup almond meal or bread crumbs
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, regular paprika, or dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim asparagus by holding each spear at both ends and bending until the spear naturally breaks; discard the bottom portion or save it for another use (such as for a pureed asparagus cream soup). Make sure asparagus is dry (wrap or pat with paper towels after washing to get the water off).
- In a shallow dish (I use pie plates), beat eggs with a fork. In another shallow dish combine Parmesan cheese, almond meal, salt, paprika, and pepper. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll each asparagus spear in egg, coating completely. Allow excess to drip off when you remove the spears. Roll each spear in the cheese mixture, coating completely. Place spears about ½-inch apart on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 14 minutes or until coating is golden brown and asparagus is just tender.
- *Choose a bunch with slightly fatter asparagus spears. If the spears are too thin, they will get too tender before the coating is crispy when they are baked.
- Prepare as directed through step 2, but don’t preheat the oven. Cover asparagus on baking sheet with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 12 hours. To serve, preheat oven to 425°F. Uncover and bake asparagus as directed above.
- 4 side dish or 6 appetizer servings
- 101 cals, 7 g pro, 5 g carb, 7 g fat, 41 mg cholesterol, 2 g sat fat, 2 g fiber, 364 mg sodium